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National Voter Registration Day: Birmingham universities urge students to "think politics"

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Today is National Voter Registration Day, and Birmingham’s two universities are urging students to make sure they’re “thinking politics” ahead of a live debate with MPs and councillors this evening.

As well as reminding students to sign up to vote in the General Election, Birmingham City University’s Students’ Union has joined forces with the University of Birmingham to host a live debate at ThinkTank Birmingham, offering students the opportunity to put their questions forward to MPs and Councillors from across the city on the issues that matter to them.

The event will take place this evening (Thursday 5th February) at the ThinkTank Theatre, and after the debate questions will be opened to the audience.

Issues covered will include employability, community and welfare and housing.

The General Election will take place in May, and there is concern that students are not engaged enough with politics to sign up and vote.

Professor Cliff Allan, Vice-Chancellor at Birmingham City University, says that it is crucial that young people get the opportunity to have their say: “We know that in 2010 just 51% of younger voters turned out to vote,” he says, “compared with 65% nationally, which is a crying shame because the politicians elected today can have so much influence over our country in the decades to come.”

He adds: “Young people have a clear interest in the whole range of public policy areas, not least in education and employment opportunities, as well as environmental decisions that will shape the world we live in, so I would urge anyone who hasn’t already done so to make sure they register today.

“Birmingham City University is fully behind the National Voter Registration Day and supports the efforts of our Students’ Union to encourage anyone studying with us to make sure they are registered to have their say at the General Election in May.”

The General Election 2015 - Leaders LIVE Birmingham debate will take place between 7pm and 9pm, at the ThinkTank Theatre, Millennium Point, B4 7XG.

To learn more or to book your place, please email voice@bcu.ac.uk

Join the conversation on twitter: #LeadersLive

Students are being urged to make sure their vote will count when the General Election arrives in May. Registering to vote only takes around five minutes and you can do so here.

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